KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Many Chiefs fans guaranteed a first shot at AFC Championship tickets if the game is played in Atlanta logged on to Ticketmaster Wednesday morning only to find the tickets reserved for them had been sold and only resale tickets at much higher prices were available.
Some persistent fans who logged back on later in the day found face-value tickets were available with an access code. The Kansas City Chiefs released a statement late Wednesday night explaining what happened:
Chiefs Season Ticket Members were provided a unique presale code that was exclusive to their Season Ticket Member Account. Early on in the presale, Ticketmaster noticed that a presale passcode that was not eligible for use had been distributed without consent. The tickets purchased under that code were refunded and released back out to the Season Ticket Member presale. Those tickets still remain available for Season Ticket Members to purchase at Chiefs.com using their exclusive passcode that was emailed to them.
The NFL announced if the Chiefs face off against the Buffalo Bills, the game would be moved to Atlanta because Buffalo’s game against the Bengals wasn’t completed when Bills Safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.
Buffalo could have earned home-field advantage with a win but played one fewer game.
The NFL’s contingency plan has left Chiefs fans with a bit of a dilemma. Buy tickets to potential games at Arrowhead and in Atlanta, or wait and see what happens.
Dave Ross, a season ticket holder of 28 years, had the first 9 a.m. time slot Wednesday and was able to avoid the later morning Ticketmaster issues plaguing ticket purchases of a potential AFC Championship in Atlanta.
“If the game is in Atlanta, you’ll pay for those tickets, and if the game is in Kansas City, you’ll pay for those tickets, and the price is pretty comparable,” Ross explained, saying he paid $185 for upper-level tickets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and $130 for slightly higher tickets at Arrowhead.
By mid-afternoon, some tickets made it to sites like Tickets for Less. Get-in prices for those resale tickets were $425 for the game in Atlanta and $375 at Arrowhead.
More tickets should hit the market Friday when there’s a second presale for non-season ticket holders who signed up this week to buy tickets in Atlanta. That presale offer expired at 11 p.m. Wednesday.
“If you can get them before that other game (Bengals vs Bills) is determined, you probably are going to have a better look, more availability. Once that other game is determined and we know exactly where it’s going to be, that’s usually when we’ll see the huge increase in people searching for the event and looking and buying,” Jason Durbin, VP of ticket sales for Tickets For Less said.
Of course, not everyone taking that advice since this year, which means buying tickets for two games.
“I’m definitely going to wait, you never know what’s going to happen. Football is any given Sunday,” Matt Adams, who was contemplating ticket purchases at both venues, said.
“I wouldn’t buy tickets for two games, personally. I myself would wait and pay an extra $100 -$ 200, whatever it’s going to be,” David Caton said.
For those like Ross who are already planning on driving to St Louis to find a flight and have their hotel booked, step one is to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday and advance to the AFC Championship. Then they’ll watch what happens between the Bengals and Bills Sunday closely.
“Absolutely, it sounds like a lot of fun going to Atlanta, but we absolutely are cheering on the Bengals Sunday. We’d much rather have it at Arrowhead,” Ross said.